Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Day Dreamers of Bandra

These are migrants from North India Uttar Pradesh who come to Mumbai with lure of money they work as hawkers of these carts selling roasted maize or some other item .

They live on these carts as housing is very expensive in Bandra and they live out their dreams ..

The guy who owns these carts too is a migrant and he gets these guys from his hometown as cheap labour .

Life in Bandra is self explanatory through pictures but nobody really cares about them but Mumbai is a migrant destination and migrants have made it big in this city ..

There is no migrant policy a lot of migrants who can't get jobs become drug addicts take to crime ..

I have lived in Mumbai for over 64 years ..30 years in Colaba and the rest in Bandra for the migrant is certainly not a bed of roses ..

A lot of migrants come as helper boys for the Slumdog Caterers and save money learn the trade and start their own kiosk supplying food for religious events weddings etc.

I know of caterers that made it big have their own apartments in Bandra and shops ..

But more than hard work perseverance you need Lady Luck ..she is the ultimate game changer ..she can turn your rags to riches or your riches to rags .

The Great Sufi Master Syed Masoom Ali Baba Madarriya Order

I met Syed Masoom Ali Baba when he was young fit robust it was in 2005 my first visit to Ajmer I was documenting the Chishtiya and Rafaee Silsila .

But as a photographer I was intrigued by these dread head monks of the Madarriya Silsila oldest Sufi order I shot them and was also comfortable with their Spirituality as it pays homage to Imam Ali and their Holy Saint is Zinda Shah Madar whose Shrine shaped like Kaba is in Makanpur UP.

My Belgian photographer friend used to walk with the Malangs from Delhi to Ajmer and wanted to join the Order he requested me to connect him with Syed Masoom Ali Baba at Ajmer 2011 I took him along and accidentally ended up joining the Order along with him ..But my quest was hardly spiritual I wanted to document them from within and so a Malang was born ..
I visited Makanpur in 2013 and in 2017 Syed Masoom Ali Baba impressed with my humility my love for humanity presented me the Khilafatnama he made me a Khalifa of his Order .

This picture was not shot by me but  sent by a Malang Syed Khalifa .

I must confess it was not easy becoming a Malang There were hurdles and there are still hurdles as I am a Shia and some bigot bawas bought up differently have not taken it kindly to my joining the Order.

However Syed Masoom Ali Baba and Syed Rafik Ali Baba my Murshed trust me completely respect me and that is what really matters .

But next year I will be taking bayt as a Qalandari monk under Haji Syed Masoom Ali Baba Qalandari of Bu Ali Shah Qalandar Panipat Haryana .

If I could travel to Pakistan that I would join the Qalandari order of Sakhi Shahbaz Qalandar Shewan.

But that is not possible I love India I breathe India I shoot India .

India is my Holy Place My Karma My Dharma and my Karbala .

I wish to die in India I have aked my wife to give my body to Medicine specifying that my body parts organs to be give to the poor destitute homeless that I shot ..they lived in me now I want to live in them.

Dam Madar Beda Par

Coach Surendra Pawar

Coach Surendra Pawar is a self made man 50 years age his humble beginnings at Tennis were at Khar Gymkhana as a ball picker.
He worked hard efficiently and became a instructor under  his International Tennis Coach Mr Iyer.
He is married 3 kids one of his daughter lives in Belgium with her husband and 2 sons .

His son and another daughter go to college .
Coach Surendra Pawar teaches Tennis at MET grounds Bandra Reclamation where I used to walk and 3 years back he invited me to the court to try my hand at Tennis..Here I must mention I have never played a single sports in my life ..I know it sounds boring but I loved reading books and my world was books books books .
But Coach Pawar groomed me did not charge me a single cent I told him I could afford to pay his fees but he said he would not take a penny from me .

On my birthday two years back he gifted me a Head racquet and thereby changed my life my outlook ..I have a serious injury on my hand I cannot bend my fist it is a sword injury that happened to me during Moharam while cutting my head for kama matam.

However I am able to hold the racquet earlier it used to slip of my hand but now I hold it firm .

At 65 I don't know what I will achieve through tennis but it keeps me fit I have gained in stamina I hardly have a potbelly my waist line was 41 its now  37 inches .

Coach and his instructors have worked a miracle on me ..I am indebted to them so I promote them and hope others sedentary couch potatoes will take to playing Tennis.

Because of the Rains I stopped my long walks so it is only tennis that sustains me successfully .

Coach is my Guru ..I respect him and he and his Boys including others who play better tennis than me have supported me and encouraged me .

These are few lines as tribute to their love for this crazy old Monk .

10 Years of Flickr The Pilgrims Progress

At Flickr 10 years
of this old monk
in Sufi dress
Bandra his
only permanent
address ..
the only instrument
of education awareness
no matter what with others
i dont mess i use the block
tool generously i must stress
i am a simple street photographer
a people photographer i am not
an as-slicker sensationalist
of the PRESS ,,
you have rightly guessed
i shoot truth yes
i am not active on
Twitter Facebook
two pillars of Sodom
Gomorrah I flew over
the Cuckoos nest
i only shoot India
its beauty sweetness
ugliness culture
faith rituals not

i cant shoot flowers
chubby kids sunrise
sunset i shoot tears
blood and sweat
hope and nothingness

i am not a poet
but a juggler of words
a catcher of images
on the wide Internet

have you ever wondered
how we met ...

thank you Flickr
a beautiful platform
of love peace humanity

 good friends
God Blessed

in humility and gratitude
i bow my head

i remember those who
died departed friends
Jeff Lamb  and Fred
dedicated to their memory
as from this planet to another
peaceful planet they moved ahead

Mother is an Emotion of a Lifetime

to be poor
in india
is metaphorically
a great crime
is non existent
for abandoned
mothers society
does not care a
dime ..dust heat
grime ..blood
sweat slime

only jesus and his mother
only ganesha and his mother
only hussain and his mother
spiritual mothers sublime
 for mothers on the street
we the living have no time

Muslims Love Killing Muslims

beneath the thick layer
of blood is a poets
face he is human
belongs to the
persecuted shia race
yes Muslims love
killing Muslim hollow
words like Brotherhood
Peace such a waste
misplaced martyrdom
of a suicide bomber
foolish dreams they
chase a great religion
by their misdeeds abased
call them Taliban Wahhabi
ISIS they are all same
beneath the surface
Muslims love killing Muslims
is the Truth not a phrase
terrorism in Islam
existed from an early age
a war they wage ..
misplaced fervor
misplaced rage

caught in a devils embrace

A Tired Mother Begs On The Street

no hope
no shoes
a bottle
of water
nothing to
eat ..
her husband
has gone to
scrounge for
food in some
garbage bin
on some other
street ..
a cosmic fate
of migrants
that come to
mumbai to
eke a living
dreams in their
eyes a helpless
god they entreat
a few coins thrown
at their scarred feet
by the rich elite
little baby out of
a claustrophobic
mothers cramped
womb ..would love
to retreat from this
ungodly world devoid
of compassion .
poor maltreat
memories of unliving
bitter and sweet
each of them hopelessly
wonder about their future
a file time will swiftly delete
a newspaper a torn tattered rag
as their winding sheet ..